Monthly Archives: June 2011

Roasted almonds, biscuits & tea for gang of five

The prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, with the five newspaper editors he met for an interaction in New Delhi yesterday. Seated from left, clockwise, are the national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Divya Marathi editor Kumar Ketkar, Nayi Duniya editor Alok Mehta, the PM’s media advisor Harish Khare, The Tribune editor Raj Chengappa, PTI…

Is the prime minister right about Indian media?

Like a bad host, who abuses his guests after calling them home, the prime minister of India launched into the media today after calling a bunch of five editors for a much-delayed interaction. It took Manmohan Singh just 25 words in his 1,884-word opening remarks to stick it into the editors. “An atmosphere has been…

‘Allow me to point out, Mr Goswami…’

In the season of the Majithia wage board for newspaper employees, the Congress’ garrulous spokesman bats for television employees by sticking it into their proprietors. Image: courtesy Indian Express Also read: Why doesn’t INS oppose ‘no-poaching’ pacts? Should papers implement Majithia wage board? Why Majithia wage board is good for journalists 9 reasons why wage…

Barkha Dutt gets a letter from her sister Bahar

In August 2010, Femina featured  NDTV‘s star-presenter and group editor Barkha Dutt on its cover in a smashing new avatar. That profile has made it to a bumper special issue featuring the 50 best faces that the women’s magazine has showcased over the past four decades. In a piece accompanying Barkha’s story in the June…

‘Yeh thi khabrein Aaj Tak. Intzaar kijiye kal tak’

Fourteen years ago today, Surendra Pratap Singh aka S.P. Singh, the founder-anchor of Aaj Tak, the 30-minute Hindi news bulletin that became a 24×7 news channel, breathed his last after a fortnight-long battle for life. “SP” was one of the first print journalists to successfully graduate to television—he had edited the Hindi  daily Navbharat Times…

Gopinath Muthukad didn’t predict this headline

Kerala magician Gopinath Muthukad—who has become only the second Indian after P.C. Sorcar Jr to bag the Merlin award handed out by the international magicians society—can emerge unscathed from fires with his hands cuffed, withstand electricity passed through water, make watches rematerialise. He can also, it seems, make editors and sub-editors obsolete.

The Chetan Bhagat-ification of Indian newspapers

Business Standard books’ reviewer Nilanjana S. Roy—and CNN-IBN anchor Sagarika Ghose (who has a column in Hindustan Times)—provide the latest update on the state of Indian newspapers.

How Coke and Colgate denied this man his due?

The more things change, the more they remain the same—and nostalgia is no longer what it used to be. Two-time, stop-gap prime minister Gulzari Lal Nanda‘s death in January 1998 didn’t get its due on the front pages of newspapers because, well, market forces had taken hold of the media in post-reforms India. In a…

When a tennis reporter bumps into a tennis icon

Nirmal Shekar in The Hindu: “Twenty-five summers ago, on a glorious sunny morning, an egregiously overdressed sports reporter from India walked in circles for almost an hour around Wimbledon Park in south west London before locating the correct point of entry for mediapersons—Gate No. 5—at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. “After security clearance and…

BBC Hindi Service gets a fresh lease of life

The protests and signature campaigns have borne fruit: BBC’s Hindi Service has been saved from closure. British foreign secretary William Hague has announced an additional 2.2 million pounds for the BBC World Service over the next three years, which will enable continuation of the Hindi and Arabic services. Hague’s statement confirms chairman of BBC Trust…

All in a month’s work for a greenhorn journalist

PRABHU MALLIKARJUNAN entered the profession a month ago. In just his first month at work at a business newspaper in Hyderabad, he has calculated that he has received Rs 6,560 worth of gifts and freebies. Four corporate buffet lunches (@ Rs 1,100 + taxes 12.5%) Rs 4,950; leather wallet Rs 600; 2 GB pendrive Rs…

Why doesn’t INS oppose ‘no-poaching’ pacts?

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has branded the recommendations of the Majithia wage board as an attempt to muzzle the freedom of the press. But why does its heart beat for media freedom when competing newspapers enter no-poaching agreements which curtails the freedom of journalists? That is the question that Yogesh Pawar asks. Pawar, a…

Should papers implement Majithia wage board?

Notwithstanding the exponential growth of the print media post-liberalisation, it is clear that the voice of journalists in the publications they bring out is subservient to that of the proprietor, promoter and publisher on most issues and certainly so on the Majithia wage board for journalists and “other newspaper employees”. Although owners and managers have…

Prabha Dutt fellowship for women print journos

PRESS RELEASE: The Sanskriti Foundation in collaboration with the Prabha Dutt memorial foundation is inviting applications for the annual Prabha Dutt fellowship in journalism, in honour of the pioneering Hindustan Times journalist. The aim of the fellowship is to encourage mid-career, women print journalists between 25 and 40 years of age, to investigate and research…

Why the wage board is good for journalists

The recommendations of the Majithia wage board for journalists and other newspaper employees have clearly split newspaper owners and newspaper workers. The big dads of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) have rejected the recommendations, taken out advertisements, filed cases and published articles to build “public opinion”. But two small newspaper owners, both members of INS,…

9 reasons why wage board is bad for journalism

The recommendations of the Majithia wage board for working journalists and “other newspaper employees” has set the proverbial cat among the paper tigers. The industry body, Indian Newspaper Society (INS), has come out all guns blazing. It has called the wage board “an arbitary and undemocratic institution”, whose recommendations are designed to stifle media freedom.…

Media barons wake up together, sing same song

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: The proprietors, promoters and publishers of India’s newspapers and magazines haven’t had a word to say on some of the biggest issues confronting Indian media—and directly impacting the trust and faith of the reader—in recent years. Paid news, in which advertisements are couched as news? Silence. Private treaties, in which…

Print or TV, ‘power’ is the new media magnet

There is a new money plant flowering at the feet of media men and media houses, and it’s called a power plant. *** Exhibit A: Mail Today, Friday, June 10: Trivandrum: The chief operating officer of a Malayalam cable TV channel provider, who tried to bribe a senior IAS officer, is cooling his heels behind…

3 deaths, 14 attacks on journos in last six months

GEETA SESHU writes from Bombay: The killing of Mid-Day (special investigations) editor J.Dey on Saturday, 11 June 2011, was the third death of a journalist in India over the last six months. In all three instances, investigations are on but no arrests have been made; much less is there any headway as to the killers…

The unsung heroes who perished before J. Dey

The killing of Mid-Day investigations editor J. Dey prompts Mail Today to compile a roster of journalists who have met a similar end in the line of duty. Not surprisingly, “troubled” Kashmir and the northeast account for the majority of the 31 deaths in the last 14 years. Image: courtesy Mail Today Also read: J.…